Sunday, November 30, 2008

Setting Priorities

It's important to get priorities right. And it's important to know when to shift priorities. I haven't been blogging mostly as a conscious choice to put my effort into other things--some other writing that I'm struggling with. In a way blogging has become a little too easy to be a challenge. Given the standards I demand from myself in blogging, and the general scope of the work, it's a lot easier to blog than to engage in more serious written endeavors--especially those that are longer than an average blog post.

If we don't set our priorities well, and then choose to act on the things we believe are important, and if we cannot see that priorities shift over time--as the Bible says: to everything there is a season--then we get ourselves caught in a difficult spot. If we don't prioritize our work early enough in the life of the project, then we get caught at the end with a crisis as we attempt to make up for the lost time. At the same time, it is also necessary to make sure that we do not prioritize our work too highly, especially in the early and middle stages of a project, because we don't want to drive ourselves to burnout that causes us to lose traction at the precise moment that we need a burst of energy to finish off a project.

It is a delicate balancing act, and an unstable one--because work and rest/play are mutually exclusive (to some extent), the priorities have to shift back and forth. To the extent that we love our work and think that it is important, that allows a closer connection between work and play: when we really love our work, it can be deeply enjoyable and rewarding. But still, the careful balance must be maintained: variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes, and if we do one thing to the exclusion of all other things, then we increase the chance of burning out.

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